Thanksgiving Day flag football tournament to benefit fire victims


Grab your cleats and push away from the pumpkin pie, it’s time for some football. On Thanksgiving Day morning, Maricopa’s flag football faithful will be out playing for more than just the title of Turkey Bowl champion; they will be playing for the Mariano family.

The annual Turkey Bowl flag football tournament will be raising money to benefit the family of Michelle Mariano, who lost her life in a tragic house fire Nov. 20, leaving behind a three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. The daughter, who suffered burns to 45 percent of her body, continues to fight for her life in the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

Maricopa City Councilwoman Marquisha Griffin and her husband, Joe, will be hosting this event and the organizers have decided to turn the day of fun and games into a fundraising opportunity.

“You cannot hear of a tragedy, such as what happened to the Mariano family, and not be touched,” said Griffin. “The community’s generosity is a small gesture to let the family know that we care. At the same time, this event brings residents together to support a worthy cause while having some fun.”

The event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to come out and have a good time. Donations will be made at the time of the event.

If you go:

What: Third Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Bowl Flag Football Tournament
Where: Pacana Park, 19000 N. Porter Road
When: 9:30 a.m.
Information: E-mail Brad Pitassi, MFD senior public information officer, at

Submitted photo